Peabody Energy completes acquisition of Macarthur Coal

20 December 2011 (Last Updated December 20th, 2011 18:30)

Coal miner Peabody Energy has completed the acquisition of Macarthur Coal for a total value of $5.1bn.

Coal miner Peabody Energy has completed the acquisition of Macarthur Coal for a total value of $5.1bn.

Peabody Energy now holds 100% of Macarthur Coal, which has several mine development and infrastructure projects underway in addition to its existing Coppabella and Moorvale mines.

Peabody chairman and CEO Gregory Boyce said that the Macarthur purchase advances the company's strategy of expanding its global platform to serve major global demand centres and raising its contribution from higher-margin international assets.

"Our focus now is on driving integration and operations improvement, and completing expansion projects," added Boyce.

Peabody expects pro forma sales to grow to 45-50Mt by 2014-2015, including 22-25Mt of metallurgical coal.

The company's pro forma Australia sales, including the acquisition volumes, stood at 32Mt last year.

Macarthur's Middlemount joint venture (JV) surface mine has secured an additional mining lease to support its expanded production capacity.

The JV also completed the 16.5km rail spur linking the project to the Goonyella rail system.

The surface mine is expected to annually produce more than 4Mt of semi-hard coking coal and low-volatile PCI coal by 2014.

A preparation plant is currently being upgraded, which is expected to be complete by early next year.

The Goonyella to Abbot Point rail expansion project has also been completed by the state government of Queensland, which will allow Macarthur Coal to access the line to export coal produced from the Middlemount Coal project through Abbot Point from next year.

Macarthur's Codrilla Mine is expected to produce approximately 3.5Mt of low-volatile PCI coal annually with completion targeted for 2014.

Peabody Energy has sold 246Mt of coal and has total revenues of $7bn.